Create-A-Day: Baby Steps

December 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

For the few Flickr followers still with me, this one is for you.

sink faces small

Create-A-Day: They Get Attached

May 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

The girls get really attached to me when I’m home all day. I went out for about five hours earlier today for the first time in about three days and when I got home, they were both SUPER excited to see me. cause you know, they missed me. I think they just get used to having me around and when I leave after a few days of 24hr pet attention they get confused.

I’m currently waiting on my next temp assignment so it’s looking like I’ll have a free week! it means no money but it also means I can get stuff done because alec is at work. today I ran errands like going to the bank to deposit some paychecks, getting cash, returning all my books to the library (I split one of my suitcase wheels in the process. ::pouts::), paying off my library fines (whoops), meeting with the secretary at school to choose people for positions on the new student gallery committee, and stopping by my friend dena’s house to catch up for a bit on a dreary, rainy, muggy monday. I’m really going to miss that girl. wish I could have had more time to get to know her better. le sigh.

tuesday should prove just as eventful. I’m planning on taking my camera out and going to the mall, probably just to the museums but I might go down to the monuments by the basin.

wednesday I have big plans to get coffee with my friend kaitlin. she interns at the holocaust museum, which I will never be able to go into.

thursday thus far has no plans, but I’m sure something will come up.

friday I’ll be curating and hanging the junior/senior show in the student gallery. woot. thus concluding my involvement with the gallery! I hope.

how about some cute pet pictures. the fatty was happy when I got home (unusual! take note!) and cleo was, as usual, a touch camera shy. she pouted when I insisted on taking her picture.

Create-A-Day: OMG Shuz

May 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

I spent the better part of my Saturday afternoon gathering and photographing my shoes. Not all of them, just the cute ones (I didn’t photograph my casual flip flops or tennis shoes). I thought it would be cute to get instagram prints of the shoes and hang them up, so I can see all of my shoes since I have a tendency to wear the same ones all the time because I can’t always remember what different shoes I have (hey, I have a lot of shoes, okay?).

Time to attack the closet now! I got rid of five pairs of shoes, which to me is pretty admirable. I have a hard time letting things go, especially when they’re really cute, but if I haven’t worn them since I’ve had them or they’re not comfortable, it’s time to let go!

Create-A-Day: Just a Photo

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is actually kind of a new feeling for me, and an awesome one at that. I think this is the first time where I’ve ever felt like I couldn’t have done any better. In the past, if I got an A- (which I usually did because I’ve never had a 4.0 before, though I did get a lot of solid A’s) I would always grind my teeth about it thinking that I should have worked harder or done something better. I feel a complete relief now, with my first-time-ever 4.0 GPA, because I literally could not have done better. It’s an amazing feeling, especially if you’re a multi-tasking, crazy, sometimes overwhelmed perfectionist. I’ve accomplished a lot this year, even if you don’t some things as an accomplishment (quitting my job, quitting grad school, etc.). But I do. Every time I make a decision that makes my life better, I consider it an accomplishment. It’s been a big, busy year so far.

 

 

This photo was taken with my old iPhone 3GS which has a terrible camera, at least in comparison to the 4S. Alas. I really like the photo too, actually. It was kind of an impulse waiting-for-the-crossing-sign kind of snapshot, but I like how the geometric shapes of the sewer covers interacts with the pattern of the crosswalk, and the intersection of the covers with the broader design of the road. It’s grown on me!

Create-A-Day: A Few Days Behind

May 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whew, in the midst of finals. I always get so paranoid, trying to imagine how it will feel if I ever get a B in art history. it’s never happened before and this would be the *perfect* (meaning the absolute WORST) time for me to break my A streak. I really need to get into a great PhD program, so a B would really hurt my chances. Going back to work full-time right before finals week started was, I admit, a pretty terrible decision, but I was worried about turning down the job in case they wouldn’t offer me another one later. A girl’s gotta pay rent, right? So as usual, I’m doing the best I can at juggling school and work and life and am filled with anxiety about failing in all three. Shocking, I know. So we’ll find out next week if I screwed the pooch or not!

I’ve just got one more paper left to turn in. It’s in pretty good shape so far. I had to turn in a rough draft for it, so I’m already over half-way done! woohoo. and it was really well-received so I know I’m on the right track. I just have to write one section and then write the conclusion, after I read another article (or two or three) and a book my prof recommended. So I’ve got some more mental work to do before I write more, but I’ve got time. The paper isn’t due until tomorrow. 😉

I’ve had this plaid shirt since I was little. I actually think it was my brother’s from middle school and somehow I ended up with it. it’s my lazy weekend shirt (because I can get away with not wearing a bra in public with it on. though of course by “public” I just mean walking to the convenience store to buy mass amounts of diet coke.).

there’s a fashion blogger I follow who has these great casual shots. I tried it… not totally sure it works for me, but I thought I would try it. she’s so natural in front of the camera, it’s like she doesn’t even notice it’s there, or when she does, she looks at it like it’s either a friend or a nobody. it’s really interesting and hard to imitate when you’re me and super awkward/self-conscious in front of a camera.

And a more normal photo, showing my awesome styling of a really old short-sleeved cardigan that I bought in high school. it used to have these great buttons that were big with a strip of ribbon through them, but in true forever 21 style, they all fell off one-by-one. there’s still one hanging on, but it looks kind of lonely and awkward.

These pants are from my high school days as well. they’ve got a few pulls here and there, but I reallllly love to wear them to work because they’re like pj pants but they look like work pants. elastic waistband plus spandex mix fabric = super happy alexa at work! I wish I could find another pair like them, but alas, the search for the holy grail continues.

I’ve been looking around a lot on Etsy lately, mainly because work requires little more of me than sitting in a chair at a desk all day, so I’ve been semi-stocking up on things for the cottage in Alabama. dad sent me a new design for it yesterday, so hopefully he’ll be finalizing that plan and starting building soon! after all, I’ll be home in a month and a half… doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Anyway, I’ve been buying all the homey things that I always wanted to buy but for some reason didn’t. I bought a gorgeous vintage bedspread (I’ve never had a bedspread before! always just a comforter) and a couple fancy table lamps. Only one has come in so far (see below!) and I need to pick a lampshade… any advice? I don’t know anything about lampshades. they come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes, it’s hard to pick the “right” one for the lamp. it’s super cute isn’t it? it has the original wiring (vintage, looks like 1950s or 1960s), but it in good working condition so I’m not too worried about replacing it with new wiring.

I was going to get rid of my art table, but I’ve been reading to many DIY blogs lately, I’m thinking I’ll keep it. it’s pretty hideous, though structurally sound. it’s about the size of a breakfast table, so I think it can work double-duty as my eating table and working table in the cottage. The table I was going to use for eating is just too small to do anything else with, which is sad because I really like it. it’s a great color, a nice dark stain, and a cute bistro size. I’ll probably take it home with me instead of selling it, and either find a place for it in the cottage or I’ll put it in storage. I’m going to sand down my art table, restain it, and use a lace centerpiece I bought on etsy ($5) as a stencil to give the table a little more character. I can’t decide if I want to spray paint it on in silver or in white… either way I’ve got time to decide. I can’t do any DIY stuff until I get home (I’ve got a long list of things I need to do!). I’m pretty excited about getting to put stuff in storage. I have a lot of stuff I want to keep, but that I won’t be using while I’m in Alabama, so it’ll be great to have it out of the way but safe. And don’t worry, as soon as school is over, I’m going to go through all my stuff (closet included) and really get rid of stuff. I have way too much crap! no need to keep it all. I have a lot of art/craft supplies too that I need to sort through as well. it’s harder to get rid of that because I really can’t predict what I’ll want to use and when…

I’m also going to get some rugs, but I won’t order them until I get into the cottage and see the space. Look how adult I am! I want to buy rugs.

Till next time! Stay safe out there people.

Create-A-Day: So Over It

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m so over that robbery crap. After the initial shock/anger/confusion wore off, I can look back and see the benefits of the situation. First and foremost, no one died. That seems like a weird thing to take away from it, but had those train doors opened up, I most definitely would have tackled that asshole and chances are pretty good that that kid had a weapon so Alec and I could have gotten seriously injured in the throwdown, or worse, we could have been killed. An iPhone isn’t really worth dying over, is it? Though I can tell you that I feel 100% sure that if he didn’t have a weapon, the two of us would have kicked his ass. I’m a little white girl from the South, you’re damn right I can punch. ANYWAY, no one got hurt, and that’s a serious thing to be thankful for.

Secondly, I learned a bit about myself. Bit of backstory so you understand what I’m thinking: back in the day, my dad used to goof around with me. Sneaking up on me when I got home late and scaring me, for example. Sometimes he would just scream randomly at me, like a lunatic, just to see what I would do. Usually, I would shriek but then I would hit the shit out of him. One time he was coaching some actors for a play at church and he was trying to get them to act like they were scared. He was having particular difficulty with one of the girls, so he tried what he used to do with me all the time — he screamed at her (basically, it’s kind of like someone going “BOO! … gotcha!” but he doesn’t say boo, he just let’s out this really loud “YAHH!”) and she burst into tears, so he had to sit there apologizing and trying to calm her down. I thought that was a funny story, but I think it reveals how some girls (probably guys too) react to vulnerable or scary situations.

I wasn’t like that. I’ve grown increasingly aware as I get older of how angry I get whenever I feel vulnerable or scared. I tend to lash out at the people who are making me feel vulnerable, and unfortunately for Alec, a lot of times that’s him. So I’ve been learning that about myself in recent years, but I never knew how I would react to feeling vulnerable outside of my relationship. In all honesty, I’m actually kind of proud of myself that I reacted in fury instead of crying like a little baby when I got robbed. It’s slightly a risky reaction, I admit, because I was ready to tackle that guy if the doors would open, which could have led to my own injury, BUT I think as far as immediate reactions in emergency situations, I don’t think I reacted badly at all. I’m glad I learned that about myself, because I’ve always wondered if I would be one of those girls who freezes in the face of attack.

I have a somewhat reasonable reason for that fear. When I was in college, I, like most other women (the statistics for this on college campuses are insanely and terrifyingly high), was alone with a guy in his dorm room when he jumped on me. Of course I was shocked because I thought he was my friend, but the shock didn’t last long and I fought so hard to get him off that I had bruises on my wrists and rug burns on my hands. So, so far so good, Alexa is fighting back. Then he told me he would bite me if I didn’t stop kicking and screaming because his hands were occupied holding me down, so I guess biting was his only other option of control. I kept fighting, and he bit my face. Then I froze.

Luckily for me his roommate came in. His roommate didn’t help me at all, but he distracted my “friend” long enough for me to push him off, grab my bag, and run like hell. I looked back on that and felt ashamed until recently, because I was so disappointed in myself that I froze after he attacked my face. What a wimp, right? Oh he attacked your face, couldn’t you figure out that he was going to do worse than that after you stop fighting? At least I fought back initially, and I did, in my defense, fight back hard.

Looking back on that, I realize I was pretty young. Besides fighting off two guys who were trying to carry me to their room at church camp, that was the only time I’d ever been physically assaulted, so it’s hard to know what to expect from yourself in those situations. Now I’m older and I look back on it, I have to cut myself a little slack. You never know how you’ll react in those situations, and I did the best I could. I did fight back, even if I didn’t fight back enough, and at the very least, I didn’t freeze initially.

So in light of the robbery and my blind rage that followed within seconds of the incident, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I am more confident that I will react in a way that won’t embarrass me in retrospect. Don’t get scared, get mad. Get mad as hell. Because that adrenaline rush may well save your ass.

So I’m over it. Petty theft is hardly the worst thing that could have happened that day or that could happen to me tomorrow or the next day or the next. While I wish it didn’t happen, I know that things could have been much worse so I have to be glad that they didn’t. I’m definitely more aware of my surroundings now, but the fear following the incident has faded. I’m okay walking alone in my neighborhood and now I make a whole lot of eye contact with anyone I think looks a touch suspicious. I want to convey “I’m watching you. Do not fuck with me.” and thus far, it’s working, though I think I might be freaking some innocent guys out. They’ll get over it. I think just showing people that you’re aware of them helps as a preventative/defensive measure and for now, I’m fine staring daggers. Fuck feeling scared. Fuck feeling vulnerable. I’m not invincible, but I’m also not one of those girls who breaks down and cries. And that, dear readers, means a lot to me.

How about a few pictures? These are from the cherry blossoms in March.

 

Also, I love that one of the recommended tags for this post is “Complex post-traumatic stress disorder.” Thank you, wordpress.

Create-A-Day: I Can Admit It…

April 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Okay, I can admit it. There’s a slight chance that I’m afraid to leave the house now. It’s such a stupid thing to admit, but Alec’s been wanting to go out, see a movie, get food, etc. but I’ve been playing the “I need to study” card instead of admitting that I feel completely ridiculous for being afraid to go to the metro after the robbery yesterday. It’s so INSANE because I know that the statistical likelihood of it happening again is pretty slim, but I just feel really uncomfortable in my neighborhood now, knowing that that guy was scoping us out before we even got on the train.

Anyway, so I’ve been hiding in the apartment, cleaning, drinking a lot of coffee, and watching tv. I made these flip flop hangers to try to get my shoes under control. I think it’s effective, but Alec hasn’t come home to check it out yet, so he might be like “why are there flip flops hanging on a closet door in the living room.”

Here’s a close-up:

I think I’m supposed to hang them in the closet (according to the DIY instructions) but my closets are exploding with clothes (and shoes… in the hall closet with the shoe rack) so I really can’t put more in the closets unless I take some things out. I want to weed out my clothes again, but I would have to leave the house to take the donations and I’m being a huge-wussy-little-white-girl-in-an-all-black-neighborhood-who-is-now-paranoid-after-she-was-robbed-by-a-black-man. I just feel awful and ridiculous and totally retarded. WHATEVER. Move on, girly. You’re going to have to leave the house sometime.

Last week I got some artsy stuff in the mail which made me really happy! I got a handmade embroidery piece from my friend Kate in New York state and an original paint sketch by one of my favorite living artists (whose finished works I won’t be able to afford for another 15 yrs). I framed it in one of two matching frames I pulled out of someone’s trash. Knew they would come in handy! There’s another sketch of his that I would like to get for the other frame, but in my currently unemployed-refusing-to-touch-my-savings state, I need to wait to buy it until I start temping again.

the hand-pulled print in the upper left is titled "Morris" after William Morris (you can catch the reference in the background design). I bought it a year or so ago.

Broader view of the living room art wall.

I’m excited to get into the new place in Alabama so I can try a new arrangement of art. I’d like to switch out some stuff, maybe frame some other stuff to hang, and of course, I’d like to make new stuff for the walls! I need to get a sheet of glass to cover my print of the blue cow in the barnwood frame and I’d like to paint the frame of the large photograph I bought from the gallery a different color, black maybe? Have I posted a picture of that? This picture is horribly awkward because I had to take it from a goofy angle in order to get the least glare. It’s hung across from the double windows in the living room, so it’s all glare all day, but I don’t feel like moving it because I’m moving in two months. It’s pretty big (32×46, maybe?) and it definitely looked smaller in the gallery than in my apartment, but bigger is better, right? I like all the detail that I get to see in it because the print is so large.

When I showed my aunt the photograph, she said the cutest thing: “Can Sepia be a favorite color?” This is actually a bit more yellow than the traditional brown sepia, but it’s still pretty wonderful.

ALSO, since I’m on a domestic theme, I bought an unexpectedly ginormous chair on Craigslist last week for the new place at home. It’s SO comfy and it’s the most wonderful shade of blue, with the slightest touch of gray. The chair is suede and has some pulls from the cat of the lady that owned it, but who cares. My cat loves the chair and she’s been sleeping on it every minute since we brought it home. It’s such a big chair, it blows my mind when I look at it. It’s almost comical. Anyway, we had to fit it among our other furniture in the living room because we couldn’t get it through the other doors in the apartment, so now the living room is a touch crowded, but again, it’s only for two months! So who cares. It’s so comfortable. Ohmygod. Perfect for me because I love curling up with my laptop, a book, or my cat.

Aaaaand I’ve been pretty lazy for the last….. few months because things have just been so crazy. Laundry is the lowest thing on my list so I haven’t done it in a while. Clothes that do get washed rarely make it into my already-exploding closet, so I’ve been just hanging them over the railing of the bed. It’s kind of terrible, I know, but it looks pretty sometimes!

Alright, back to the….. procrastination. Stay safe out there, people.

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